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Forensic Pathology

The department is funded directly by the Scottish Crown Office under an agreement with the University.

The centre provides forensic autopsy and toxicology services and the range of cases investigated includes:

  • road traffic fatalities
  • suicides
  • accidents at home and at work
  • homicides and sudden natural deaths
  • as well as in-hospital deaths under anaesthesia
  • and other unexpected hospital deaths

Pathology Service

The centre provides a free-standing, independent pathology service as within the profession there are fears that if hospital trust were contracted to provide pathology services for the fiscal, there would be pressure on pathologists to carry out autopsies in circumstances where it would be inappropriate for them to do so.

All postmortem examinations (autopsies) are carried out under strict guidelines and protocols by our experienced forensic pathologists who are all medically qualified doctors. Autopsy findings are combined with the results of other investigations, including the microscopic examination of organs and tissues removed at autopsy, toxicological analyses (of blood, vitreous, urine, etc), and all finding are correlated with the available medical history of the deceased, as well as the circumstances of their death, in order to help determine the cause of death.

The centre for forensic and legal medicine is home for forensic toxicologists specialising in the measurement of drugs and endogenous compounds in post mortem samples using a wide variety of chromatographic (GC-FID, GCMS and LCMSMS) and immunoassay techniques. We can perform analyses on a wide variety of samples including; blood, urine, vitreous humour, liver, muscle and stomach contents.

Related Information
Drug Screening →
Toxicology Standards →
Publications →
The Centre has excellent facilities with its own histopathology and toxicology laboratories and the mortuary is a newly built modern facility.
More information about our Facilities →
Drugs screening

We specialise in the measurement of drugs.
See the list of drugs detected in our current drug screening process →


Centre for Forensic and Legal Medicine
Fleming Gym Building
Small's Wynd
University of Dundee

Tel: +44 (0)1382 348020


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